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Goodell has not “focused” on future on Bills in wake of Wilson’s passing

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At a press conference wrapping up the NFL meetings in Orlando on Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell briefly answered a question about the Bills’ future in Buffalo by indicating that little had changed with the situation in the wake of the passing of owner Ralph Wilson on Tuesday.

“Well, I haven’t focused on that,” Goodell said of the Bills’ future. “Obviously, my thoughts and my heart are with the Wilson family. That’s not something I’ve spent any time on in recent days.

“We all know they have a lease. We know the terms of (that) lease, and we also know we have to find a long-term solution to keep the Bills there, and that’s what we’ll continue to work to do, but that’s not our priority right now in the next few days.”

The Bills signed a new 10-year lease on Ralph Wilson Stadium in December 2012, but they can terminate the lease after seven years.

According to Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News, the team will be controlled by a trust for the time being. An eventual sale of the club has long been expected. However, according to Gaughan, a sale might not occur for multiple years, with the trust running the team in the interim.

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27 Responses to “Goodell has not “focused” on future on Bills in wake of Wilson’s passing”
  1. ajgreenhof says: Mar 26, 2014 11:25 AM

    Gotta stay in Buffalo.

  2. iamkillerfin says: Mar 26, 2014 11:27 AM

    R.I.P. Mr. Wilson THANK YOU for helping make the AFL become part of the NFL!!!

  3. russellwilsonismymvp says: Mar 26, 2014 11:29 AM

    Obviously, he’ll try to move them to London now. Duh.

  4. joetoronto says: Mar 26, 2014 11:30 AM

    The deal has been done for a while now, don’t let Goodell fool you.

    The Bills are gone, just say goodbye.

  5. thepftpoet says: Mar 26, 2014 11:37 AM

    Petition to make Zygi Wilf the new NFL commish.

    (Signed)

    The best owner in sports.

  6. kingcasper says: Mar 26, 2014 11:37 AM

    Joetoronto our retarded little brother from up north strikes again! Go watch the CFL you moron..

  7. emma333 says: Mar 26, 2014 11:44 AM

    Bills fans do not need endless speculation about where they will move right now….(or ever)…let the team and city grieve in peace. Also, many prayers for Jim Kelly.

  8. billsalldayaday says: Mar 26, 2014 11:47 AM

    I feel like the national media is disappointed if/when the Bills stay in Buffalo.

    The Bills finished 13th in tv ratings when there has not been playoffs in over a decade. The NFL would be idiots to move the team.

    The Bills have the most loyal fans in the NFL.

    RIP Ralph Wilson.

    Someone who always spoke-up for what he thought was right. That is almost non existent in today’s business world.

  9. steelerben says: Mar 26, 2014 11:48 AM

    Would the Bills moving to Toronto really be all that big a change? It would be a slightly larger market, they’d get a new stadium, and the NFL could test the waters on the international expansion that they are so interested in without having to go whole hog and set up in Europe. The real question is if Toronto wants and can support an NFL team.

    You can’t see the Bills heading to LA or anything like that, though. Not without changing their name and history books like the Browns did when they became the Ravens. I can’t see the city of Buffalo taking that type of move sitting down.

  10. granadafan says: Mar 26, 2014 11:50 AM

    Goodell to the real taxpayers: Give us our tributes in hundreds of millions or we’ll move the team.

  11. hrmlss says: Mar 26, 2014 11:58 AM

    Great planning Roger, I mean, Ralph passing was obviously a surprise, who would guess a 95 year old would die, especially one who has been sick for years.
    Better scramble and put together a contingency plan now…..

  12. EJ says: Mar 26, 2014 11:59 AM

    Hopefully if things go well, The Bills will be bought by a Western New York Native and kept where they belong, Buffalo, NY. Goodell himself was born and raised in Jamestown, NY, so I seriously doubt he would let the team relocate, he knows how much the team means to Western New Yorkers and their community.

  13. losangelesbillsofbuffalo says: Mar 26, 2014 12:16 PM

    If the Bills change locations, change nicknames – I will stop being a fan of American Football. My money, my time, my passion will all be focused somewhere else. Hey, maybe that will be better for me in the end, but personally, I enjoy reminiscing about the Super Bowl losses, the Music City Miracles, the mid-season failures. They’re all part of a history that is entrenched in the deepest layers of my soul. The Bills make me want to shout, and one thing I’ve learned throughout the years, is that I LOVE to shout.

  14. wvujess20 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:25 PM

    It is a very sad time for Buffalo Bills fans everywhere… But one thing we don’t have to worry about is the bills leaving Buffalo. If you people, followed the team at all you would know that the current lease has the bills in town for at least 7 years! It would cost $500,000,000 (yes, the zeros are correct) to move them before that. If you think in 7 years we will still be talking about a Toronto, London, or LA team, you’re crazy! The Toronto experiment was a bust, they already cancelled this years game up there and I’m willing to bet there will be more cancelations in the future.

    Long live the Buffalo Bills!

    RIP Ralph Wilson Jr

  15. artvan15 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:25 PM

    Don’t act like you haven’t given this any thought Goodell. You will be all in on moving them out of a small market like Buffalo.

  16. yanksbills says: Mar 26, 2014 12:35 PM

    Can the fans buy the team? If 500,000 Buffalonians chip in $1000 each, we’ve got half a billion dollars ready. Who’s in?

  17. burndownhottopic says: Mar 26, 2014 12:40 PM

    I’m a Ravens fan. Couldn’t care less about the Bills on any given day, but I couldn’t imagine putting another city in front of the Bills. Buffalo Bills its just perfect. That stadium seems to fit the city, and its people. Good folks, intimate atmosphere. Gotta keep the Bills in Buffalo.

  18. tvjules says: Mar 26, 2014 12:54 PM

    It’s surprising he didn’t pass the team down to a family member.

  19. rolltide510 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:55 PM

    Sure would have been nice if Wilson had been able to will the team to his children. Thanks inheritance tax!

  20. wvujess20 says: Mar 26, 2014 1:06 PM

    Another small fact, Roger Goodell was born in Jamestown, NY… About 45 miles south of Buffalo. He still has family in the area, he is a closet Bills fan and always will be… He will fight to keep them in buffalo!

    #newyorksonlyfootballteam
    #newjerseyjets, #newjerseygiants

  21. bubba2014 says: Mar 26, 2014 1:19 PM

    Disappointing there wasn’t a plan in place to keep the team there before Mr. Wilson Passed away.

  22. swampcannons says: Mar 26, 2014 1:23 PM

    Shame on the media for bringing this up at such a time. Chalk it up to offseason boredom I guess. I’m an Angeleno and would love to see a team here but not that bad. I’d rather chop off my right arm then root for the Buffalo Bills in LA. My thoughts and condolences are with the Wilson family, the Bills faithful everywhere, and to the speedy recovery of the warrior Jim Kelly.

  23. jpaq68 says: Mar 26, 2014 1:41 PM

    56 home games left at “The Ralph” before the Bills pack it in and move to the greener pastures of Los Angeles.

  24. coltsreign says: Mar 26, 2014 2:16 PM

    I hope to coach in the NFL someday. I would like to attempt to bring back the 1990-1993 bills in my own way.
    3-4 defense and the K Gun with some west coast in it.

    Im a colts fan but id like to bring historical franchises bck to fame

  25. iloveagoodnap says: Mar 26, 2014 2:59 PM

    this speculation void of fact is maddening.

    Here is the one fact: the Bills are eventually going to be sold to the highest bidder. And whoever that highest bidder is will already have a detailed agenda. Whether that agenda is to keep them in Buffalo, move them to Toronto, LA, whatever. Bottom line is if the Bills want to stay in Buffalo a buyer already comitred to that will need to surface.

    Nothing more, nothing less. Stop specialting about anything else, because that’s the simple fact of the matter.

    Time to step up if you truly want to keep your team, Buffalo.

  26. bradkaz96 says: Mar 26, 2014 3:16 PM

    Mr. Wilson put a clause in the new Lease preventing it from being terminated until at least 2020 for ANY amount of money. Sounds like a good timeframe for a new owner to come in and build a new stadium right here in Buffalo to me.

    Ralph got a lot of flack for voting down CBAs over the years and other things that they claimed “he didn’t know what was going on” but he ended up being right about that and he sure knew what he was doing with this new lease.

    Thank you Ralph for all that you have done. You will be truly missed.

  27. WhatsamattaU says: Mar 26, 2014 3:22 PM

    News flash for those that think Goodell will do right by WNY. He’s a businessman, running an organization of uber alpha male owners. If the league wants the Bills in a larger market, when the lease is up, they’re gone. In the meantime, the only hope is a white knight that buys the team from the Trust. To the twit that thought the team wasn’t handed down to a relative because of inheritance tax, I hope you don’t prepare your own returns, because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Whatever estate/inheritance taxes are to be paid are going to be payable within the next year or so. The trust will either use cash from the Bills or borrow against future earnings or the value of the team itself to pay the taxes. The same options would have been available if there were anyone in the Wilson family that could operate the team and pass the gauntlet of the other owners. Apparently, there isn’t. Ralph should have put me in his will, I’d have gotten it done.

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